The Cast Of This 'Who' Spinoff Are In A 'Class' Of Their Own

by Laura Rosenfeld
Simon Ridgeway/BBC America

Saturday, April 15 is going to be a big day for Doctor Who fans. Not only does the beloved time-traveling show return for Season 10 on BBC America, but that premiere will be followed by a new series from the universe of Doctor Who, Class. Of course, the spinoff has a lot of similarities to Doctor Who, one of which is that it features a talented bunch of British actors. I mean, just take a look at the heart-pounding trailer for the new series and tell me you're not absolutely intrigued by the cast of Class.

Watching the cast members of Class do their thing in the new series is going to be a joy not only because they're all so skilled but also because it will be an introduction to a fresh crop of rising stars. You can thank the basic premise of Class for the youthfulness of the actors. The series follows four seemingly ordinary students at Coal Hill Academy, all of whom run in completely different social circles (ah, high school). But soon, they realize that they have to band together to fight the alien threats that have burst through the walls of space and time, which have worn down from years of time traveling. Yeah, you can blame the Doctor for that one.

Speaking of the Doctor, the iconic extraterrestrial Time Lord currently played by Peter Capaldi is set to make an appearance in Class, according to the trailer, informing the students that it's up to them to prevent the dangerous creatures from destroying the Earth. So who has the fate of humanity in their hands? Well, it's these actors behind the main characters of Class who are about to take you on the most thrilling high school adventure ever.

Greg Austin As Charlie

Simon Ridgeway/BBC America

Greg Austin really made an impression on TV audiences as Harry Gordon Selfridge's (Jeremy Piven) enterprising son Gordon Selfridge on the drama about the titular department store magnate, Mr. Selfridge. He rocked quite the mustache for the role toward the end of the series, I must say. Austin has also made an appearance on Law & Order: UK.

In Class, Austin plays Charlie, a reserved and posh social outcast at Coal Hill Academy. But as it turns out, Charlie is actually an alien prince from the planet Rhodia, and he is the very last of his kind. Charlie had to flee his planet after an invasion, and that's how he ended up at Coal Hill Academy. At least his Polish boyfriend Matteusz has a sense of what he's going through. But he's also got to deal with his enemy, Miss Quill, on a daily basis, and that's not so great, either (more on that later).

When Austin isn't acting, you can find him in his own videos created for his YouTube Channel, EuphAuric. He's a self-proclaimed "avid gamer," he said during an interview with PBS' Masterpiece. I wonder if Austin has any other hidden talents.

Sophie Hopkins As April

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Like Austin, Sophie Hopkins is also fairly new to show biz. Before Class, she appeared in some short films, as well as the horror movie Brackenmore.

Hopkins studied performing arts and musical theatre at York College in England before joining the London theatre company Fourth Monkey in 2010, according to The Daily Mail. She's also a sci-fi lover, so Class is a pretty perfect project for Hopkins, no?

Hopkins takes on the role of April in Class, a character who is a bit of a loner, but also beloved by many for being kind and dependable. But April's life hasn't always been so sweet. She has experienced some tragedies in the past and has to deal with some problems at home. So when aliens come a-knockin' at Coal Hill Academy, April is going to be ready to show them just how tough she really is.

Fady Elsayed As Ram

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Fady Elsayed has appeared on screens big and small over the past few years. His work includes roles in films like My Brother the Devil (which earned him a nomination for Best Newcomer at the BFI London Film Festival in 2012), Twenty8K, and Brotherhood. He has also popped up in TV shows like Casualty, Law & Order: UK, and Penny Dreadful.

Elsayed plays Ram in Class, who is the guy in school everyone wants to be or be with. He's the star football player (that's soccer to Americans) who's dating the most popular girl in school. But sometimes his status at school comes at odds with his devotion to Sikhism and his father's expectations. Ram has some demons that he's dealing with beyond that, and though he at first doesn't want to ruin his reputation by hanging out with the other students tasked with saving the planet, he eventually realizes that he needs to lean on them.

Funnily enough, Ram actually grew up wanting to be a professional football player, not an actor, he told MOJEHMEN.com. But after landing roles in school productions of Grease and Guys & Dolls, that was it. Elsayed attended The Young Actors Theatre drama school in London, and went on to score his first leading role in My Brother the Devil. "That is when I fell in love with acting and knew I wanted to continue acting for the rest of my life," he told MOJEHMEN.com. After watching him in Class, you'll be glad he did.

Vivian Oparah As Tanya

Simon Ridgeway/BBC America

Class is really Vivian Oparah's first major acting gig, and that is definitely how you start a career in show business, isn't it? In the series, Oparah plays Tanya, a physics genius who skipped ahead three grades in school. So obviously, Tanya is smart, but that doesn't necessarily help her in social interactions, especially when it comes to connecting with the older kids at Coal Hill Academy. At home, Tanya has to deal with a strict mother, as well as her grief over the tragic loss of her father.

Oparah is also a bit of a prodigy herself, at least in terms of acting. She was a member of the prestigious National Youth Theatre in the U.K. that also boasts alumni such as Dame Helen Mirren, Daniel Day-Lewis, Daniel Craig, and Colin Firth, among many others. I haven't even seen Oparah act yet, and I'm already impressed.

Katherine Kelly As Miss Quill

Simon Ridgeway/BBC America

As the "grown-up" of the bunch, Katherine Kelly is the most experienced actor among the main cast of Class. She has appeared in loads of TV series prior to Class with some major stints on Coronation Street, Mr. Selfridge, Happy Valley, and The Night Manager. She also starred as Baroness Elsa Schraeder in The Sound of Music Live that aired on ITV in the U.K. in 2015, so you know she can sing, too.

But perhaps Kelly's most interesting role yet will be on Class. On the show, she plays Coal Hill Academy physics teacher Miss Quill. No one at Coal Hill Academy really likes Miss Quill too much. But perhaps she's so cold and cruel because she was once the lead terrorist for the Quill Resistance on the planet Rhodia before she was punished by having an alien creature known as the Arn live inside her brain and telepathically connect her to Charlie as his servant. So now that she and Charlie have both been banished to London, it's Miss Quill's job to protect him, too. But deep down inside, Miss Quill is just feeling a little lonely, so perhaps joining forces with the Coal Hill kids will help her overcome that.

Kelly also grabbed headlines for some personal news earlier this year when she revealed the surprise that she had welcomed her second child with husband Ryan Clark, daughter Rose, in October 2016 during an exclusive interview with HELLO! magazine. This is shaping up to be quite the year for Kelly.

Jordan Renzo As Matteusz

Simon Ridgeway/BBC America

Last but certainly not least, there's Jordan Renzo, who, like many of his ingenue castmates, hasn't appeared in a ton of projects before Class. His previous credits include a couple of short films and a small movie called Chosen starring Harvey Keitel.

Renzo got his training at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in England. Hopefully, that prepared him to take on the fascinating role of Matteusz in Class. The character is originally from Poland, so he feels like an outsider at this London school. But he soon makes a connection and falls in love with Charlie, serving as a support system for him. Oh, and when that news about Charlie and Miss Quill not exactly being human comes out, well, that's going to be a bit difficult for Matteusz to deal with, as well as other major changes in his life.

Well, the characters of Coal Hill Academy certainly have me dying to know more about what Class has in store. Here's hoping the cast's performances live up to their characters' amazing backstories.